Yellowstone’s Northern Range, Gardiner to Cooke City, features some of the best wildlife viewing in the lower 48 states. Options are abundant for those who want to observe wolves, elk, bison, bears, and more. Gardiner is known for being nature’s favorite entrance to Yellowstone National Park® because of the wildlife that reside and rule the road in town. It’s not uncommon to get caught in a bison jam driving or to watch the elk use the high school football field as a napping spot.
© Jean ModesetteA couple hours away is Lamar Valley, often referred to as America’s Serengeti. For the best chance of glimpsing wildlife, head out around dawn and dusk when wildlife is most active. Visiting in the spring, fall, and winter for unsurpassed wildlife watching. Springtime offers ample opportunity for catching a glimpse of adorable spring babies: baby bison (referred to as red dogs for their reddish color), baby elk, baby bears, and more.
Late Summer and Fall are great times to catch the bison rut in Lamar or the Elk Rut in Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs. During winter, with the landscape covered in the white blanket of snow, it’s easier to spot wildlife roaming the land. Whenever you come, you can rest assured you’re bound to leave having encountered nature in her element.
Want to enjoy looking at the wildlife instead of driving? Are your eager to learn facts about the Park and her inhabitants? Then try a guided tour with one of our local experts!
If you don’t own binoculars or a spotting scope, or if it wasn’t feasible to travel with it, you can rent locally.